The Last American Virgin poster

The Last American Virgin (Collector’s Edition Review)

In modern culture the term teenager is a standard title given to anyone between the age of thirteen and nineteen years old. Nothing earth-shattering, however, in the history of the world… it is still relatively new lingo. Hard to believe, living in a society where many do not look beyond the last two decades of time, normalizing the word teenager actually only began during the late ‘40s. Further becoming popularized in film during the ‘50s, legendary motion pictures like 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause could be looked at as a significant turning point in popular culture. From here, Hollywood further created movies centered around youth, and by time the ’80 hit Comedy features directed toward teenage audiences were in peak demand.

A style of film known by the masses as Teen Comedies, the ‘80s had a lengthy list of memorable titles; which included, but are not limited to 1981’s Porky’s, 1982’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1983’s Screw Balls, and 1984’s Hard Bodies. With so many to name, it is only natural that some may slip your mind, but one which should absolutely never be overlooked is The Last American Virgin.

Originally released in theaters on July 30th of 1982, The Last American Virgin was arguably one the most poignant of its kind during the ’80s era. A statement that might have some taking a double look, considering the hilarity of films like those already mentioned, but also earlier titles such as 1978’s Animal House, what The Last American Virgin has on others is its sense of reality mixed in with the absurdity. Yes, there are situations which seem wild and far-fetched that you have to laugh out loud for, but there are also several very serious ideas in The Last American Virgin as well; including friendship, love, making proper moral decisions, and dealing with heartbreak. Presented in a very real-to-life fashion, it is safe to say no matter the generation, everyone can relate to the emotions felt by each of the central characters portrayed in The Last American Virgin.

the last american virgin movie
The Last American Virgin (1982)

Factors which make the film standout, additionally, it is impossible to overlook the soundtrack which plays such an intricate part in the plot’s effectiveness. Utilizing some of the early ’80s biggest songs, each also fit absolutely flawlessly within the context of each scene. For example, there is Devo’s “Whip It” in the goofy locker room measuring competition scene, Oingo Boingo’s “Better Luck Next Time” playing at a party as you witness the first taste of heartache, but most of all, Commodores “Oh No” and Quincy Jones’ “Just Once” anchoring the entire mood of the film on several occasions.

Something you can feel deeply, bringing it all together was Writer/Director Boaz Davidson (known for other titles such as the 1981 Horror flick X-Ray and 1985’s Hot Resort) working with a talent young cast led by Diane Franklin (who became a big star in the ‘80s with films like 1985’s Better Off Dead and 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Lawrence Monoson (who built a successful career, including roles in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and 1985’s Mask), Steve Antin (also accomplished, and known for his role in 1985’s The Goonies), as well as Joe Rubbo (who would make numerous appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman in the ‘80s, but also starred in 1985’s Hot Chill). Each bringing something different to the film, their characters stick with you long after just one watch. 

All these matters considered, fortunately The Last American Virgin had a chance to reach broader audiences outside the initial successful theatrical run in 1982; first arriving to VHS and Betamax in ’83, to Laserdisc in ’84, DVD in ’03, before Blu-Ray releases in ’15 and ’18. Gifting the film plenty of opportunity to be viewed again, or be discovered for the first time, in 2023, MVD Visual (in association with MGM) released a brand-new special edition Blu-Ray of The Last American Virgin.

The Last American Virgin (1982)
The Last American Virgin (1982)

Released back on January 24 in 2023, just slightly over a year after the film’s 40th anniversary, the MVD Visual edition arguably is the best overall purchasing option; this is opposed to the much more expensive 2015 Arrow Video import. Proving this point, the MVD Visual printing offers you the film in a crisp high-definition transfer, plus bonus features that were never originally included in the DVD release. Noticeably clarified, MVD’s release also gives you the original The Last American Virgin theatrical artwork as the inlay, as well as on a nice slipcase, and an additional fold-out poster. Even more nostalgic, the slipcase has a print of a classic categorizing ‘Comedy’ sticker, matched with the appearance of shelf wear you might have excepted from repeat handling at your local video rental shop. 

Really a solid package, matched with a superb transfer of the film itself, along with extra interviews you will certainly want to watch, MVD Visual absolutely did The Last American Virgin justice. A film that is under-appreciated and strikes a chord in all of us no matter our age, Cryptic Rock gives MVD Visual’s Collector’s Edition of The Last American Virgin 5 out of 5 stars.

The Last American Virgin (1982) poster
The Last American Virgin / MVD Visual’s Collector’s Edition (2023)

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